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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is related to a post I started a couple of years ago regarding carvable foam pumpkins:
I have been searching in-vain trying to find large (preferably 14"+) carvable foam pumpkins. I was wondering if any members may know of a supplier. I'm looking for:
1. Round or slightly flat - not tall
2. Preferably low density foam with thin plastic / resin shell
3. Color doesn't matter
4. I prefer not to make them from scratch

I suppose in a month or two they will be all over the internet but I just can't seem to find anything.
 

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We found a bunch of pumpkins at a garage sale. We got ten of them for ten dollars in various shapes and sizes but all suitable jack-o-lantern size. I realize that's the kind of thing one stumbles upon and can't count as a go to option, but if you enjoy visiting garage sales or second hand stuff, watching Craigslist and checking local listings for garage sales might be one option. People generally get rid of stuff early on in summer which would work with your time frame. The pumpkins we got were rather thin shelled generic hobby store pumpkins. They weren't the thickness or quality of Funkins, and they collapsed over a few years from their own weight wherever we cut away too much pumpkin to make the face of the jack-o-lantern. That's okay with us as this year, we're turning them into rotting pumpkins and the look of them falling apart has already begun. :)
 

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Sorry @The Skeleton Crew, can't help with your request. Just wanted to comment... I'm just takin' a stab here, but I'm sensing TSC is looking for a more reliable source for his pumpkins, not a shot in the dark that he might find a treasure trove of pumpkins in a garage sale like you were lucky enough to find. I think it's great to find gems like this in unexpected places, but when you're on a mission, it's not very fruitful to look in unexpected places.
 

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Last year to get a large size for a project I bought a Funkin directly from their website. They come in all shapes and sizes, but are pretty expensive.
 

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I think this stuff is the Holy Grail of things we all want in, like, April or May, but sadly in all the years I've been here the closest anyone comes is ordering Funkins off their site but as stated previously, they're expensive & most stores don't put the others out until too late for many.

My only suggestion (outside of making them yourself) is seeing if Micahels (or the hobby store of your choosing) could order them for you.
 

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This is a perennial 'want to have' thing. I'm wondering if making a set of molds for GreatStuff or other expanding foam is the way to go.
That's exactly what we're going to attempt to do in the next few weeks. I've made silicone molds for skulls so a pumpkin should be a piece of cake.
 

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i think shipping and storage of these has become too big of an issue for places to stock like they use to and why they are nearly impossible to find let alone at a decent price If you need more than one.

I always picked mine up at Joann’s (true Funkin) and Michael‘s. They carried their own Ashland line. Hobby Lobby which does stock fall early (ie foam carving pumpkins) use to carry Funkins but when I was in there a year or two ago they carried something else, and no really big ones. I did make out at Hobby Lobby with some of their Funkins on clearance one year and the store manager was so anxious not to store them that he offered me a buy two get one free or maybe it was a buy one get two free offer from what was left on their shelves (which was still quite a few in various sizes and shapes). I left with an overflowing filled shopping cart of them and now given how hard they are to come by boy am happy I did. Think this was right before Thanksgiving and I really only wanted to use them for Halloween so almost passed on the offer. Also nabbed 5 large Funkins one year from Joann’s during a clearance sale I somehow managed to time for a change. Probably saw someone here mention the sale. I had to order them and have them shipped and shipping was free or super reasonable. So they really wanted to get rid of them as the largest pumpkins came in very large boxes. Had to be a loss for them. I can say I do understand the storage issue the stores have as it’s now my problem at home!

I’ll try to stop by Hobby Lobby later in the week to see if they are stocking the carvable pumpkins again and let you know. Other than Joann’s and Michaels and of course Funkins online store I have no other suggestions. Probably all come from China shipped on a boat and simply doesn’t pay to transport them now. Covid factory shutdowns also impacted production of things so this could be a very scarce item this year. Hard to imagine Halloween with these carvable pumpkins. Might bring back real pumpkins for carving for many families.
 

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This is a perennial 'want to have' thing. I'm wondering if making a set of molds for GreatStuff or other expanding foam is the way to go.
That’s a great idea. I only needed 20-30 of them last year but found Joann’s and Michaels’s ran out of them very quickly or didn’t have many in stock to start with. I had to go to 3-4 stores to get all I needed…not sure if that’s typical or varies by region. I plan to increase my pumpkin display and making my own would be wonderful.
 

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Sorry @The Skeleton Crew, can't help with your request. Just wanted to comment... I'm just takin' a stab here, but I'm sensing TSC is looking for a more reliable source for his pumpkins, not a shot in the dark that he might find a treasure trove of pumpkins in a garage sale like you were lucky enough to find. I think it's great to find gems like this in unexpected places, but when you're on a mission, it's not very fruitful to look in unexpected places.
I totally agree with you about the shot in the dark option, but I also think that when people are searching for something, they might overlook ideas that aren't the normal "go to the store and buy it." The reason I brought up the atypical option of watching garage sales is that it has been our one and only source for pumpkins, and in the last year we've purchased 32 of them in varying conditions, but all usable for our needs with a new mausoleum for the O'Lantern family. We have five never carved mid-size to large Funkins that were less than three bucks apiece. And we're not die-hard garage sale people. We did an afternoon drive around twice last year, and found over half the pumpkins we now own.

Our budget makes even the pumpkins at JoAnne's Fabrics at 75% off seem spendy, so we definitely aren't considering the normal options. I figured everyone would cover the bases on the traditional avenues, and they have. But that said, takin' a stab in the dark sometimes pays off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I made the rounds to Hobby Lobby, JoAnns and Michaels. The shelves are still pretty bare. Hobby Lobby had some 11" pumpkins which are a just a bit to small and really overpriced $34.99 considering they discontinued their 40% coupons.

IMG_0424.JPG


I've considered making mache pumpkins from scratch but I'm afraid they will be far to heavy for my application; so I decided to try experimenting with a mache / foam hybrid. If successful I can make any size and shape, it will be light weight and durable, and most important cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think Stiltbeast Studios 2 methods of making them are the way to go. I have done with great stuff foam (though I know you don't want this method) But you can make some pretty huge ones, and dont have to make so many or buy more because these big props will take up most of the space. View attachment 745793 View attachment 745794
This is similar to what I was thinking about. I'm working on two prototypes:
1. Use two hollow half balls as base, glue together, cover with spray foam, carve and paint.
2. Trash bag method - Use a filled trash bag, tie with string for groves, cover with thin layer of mache and spray foam, then carve and paint. I'm leaning towards this method since I have full control over the size and shape of the pumpkin and I can make a lot of them quickly and cheaply.

I want to use them for pumpkin scarecrows so they will need to be light and have the correct size / proportion.
 

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Stiltbeast (@Allen H )'s method is great. I made about 6 (ranging from ~18" to ~28") using his tutorial. Each pumpkin took me about 3 to 8 hours to complete (not including waiting time for curing, drying, etc), but I went very slow because I'm new to casual prop making.

I also added 120v lamp sockets and orange/green led flicker flame light bulbs. I'll post some pics below.

A word of caution though. My pumpkins slowly "sank" after completion. I probably didn't have the walls thick enough though. I had to open the mouth on one of them, but the others I just left.

745838


For scale, those square foundations are 2' x 2'.
Also, hopefully it's obvious which are the foam ones I made (vs painting store bought blow molds).

745839
 

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Stiltbeast (@Allen H )'s method is great. I made about 6 (ranging from ~18" to ~28") using his tutorial. Each pumpkin took me about 3 to 8 hours to complete (not including waiting time for curing, drying, etc), but I went very slow because I'm new to casual prop making.

I also added 120v lamp sockets and orange/green led flicker flame light bulbs. I'll post some pics below.

A word of caution though. My pumpkins slowly "sank" after completion. I probably didn't have the walls thick enough though. I had to open the mouth on one of them, but the others I just left.

View attachment 745838

For scale, those square foundations are 2' x 2'.
Also, hopefully it's obvious which are the foam ones I made (vs painting store bought blow molds).

View attachment 745839
These are great! I like the whole scene❤
 

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If you opt to go the mache route to create your pumpkins, here are a couple of other creators you might want to look at. They do great and inventive work.

Stolloween. Crazy, often copied, and just plain fun. How To: Pumpkins – STOLLOWEEN

Unhinged Productions. His goal is to make something from nothing, and his somethings are pretty impressive. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvTDpqcWtu09_s4F2nsRsgg

Here's a video showing one of his larger pumpkins (this is a sped up version of a four part series on how to actually make it:

 

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Try Facebook Marketplace. I have 4 on there for sale so I know there are some out there ha ha. Most people have no clue what they are which may have discouraged stores from carrying them because they are pricey. Good luck in your search.
 

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used the stiltbeast method. Only switched the fabric for painters protection cloth. It’s very fine and slightly porous. It soaks up and bonds with the great stuff so I just left it on.
 
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